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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Front Page Stories" (Page 67)

Trump Says He Feels Pelosi Is “No Longer Speaker of the House”, Media Opens up a Can of Dumb in Response

Westlake Legal Group TrumpZelenskiyAPimage-620x317 Trump Says He Feels Pelosi Is “No Longer Speaker of the House”, Media Opens up a Can of Dumb in Response white house washington D.C. Social Media Roll Call republicans Politics North Carolina Nancy Pelosi Media journalism Impeachment of President Trump impeachment Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post donald trump democrats Culture Congress Allow Media Exception

President Donald Trump meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the InterContinental Barclay New York hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Even though the transcript of the July phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky proves that there was no quid pro quo discussion, impeachment fever continues to gain momentum in the fever swamps of the Democratic party.

Trump, who has insisted all along that the media and Democrats have manufactured outrage over a non-story, was asked today after the transcript was released about whether or not he’d spoken to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about the impeachment issue. Here’s what he said:

“No, she’s lost her way,” Trump said, responding to a question regarding whether he tried to strike a deal on impeachment with Pelosi.

“She’s been taken over by the radical Left. She may be radical Left herself, but she really has lost her way,” Trump continued. “I spoke to her about guns yesterday. She didn’t even know what I was talking about.”
[…]
“The whole party is taken over by the Left,” Trump said. “They’ve been taken over by a radical group of people, and Nancy Pelosi, as far as I’m concerned, unfortunately, she’s no longer the speaker of the House.”

Judging from the context, what Trump was suggesting was that while Pelosi is officially Speaker of the House, she’s not really running the show anymore. Members of the AOC-led Squad, who have long pushed for impeachment, are among the House’s de facto far left leaders right now in the eyes of many Republicans, including Trump.

Sadly, the mainstream media have still not learned any lessons from their gross misreporting (to put it charitably) of the Mueller investigation, the “blockbuster” new sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the Ukraine phone call, and now this.

As evidence, read the tweets and stories below, which show how badly journalists collectively stepped on a rake this afternoon in responding to Trump’s remarks after others in the media, including the Associated Press’ Zeke Miller, predictably tweeted the comments out of context:

Media firefighters and liberal commentators alike (but I repeat myself) donned their superhero capes in a rush to defend Pelosi:

Perhaps the worst example comes from Roll Call’s John T. Bennett, who actually framed the story from the bogus perspective that Trump was trying to undermine Pelosi, even though the President’s comments clearly indicate he was hinting that it was the Impeachment Caucus who were undermining Pelosi. Here’s how Bennett’s piece started out (bolded emphasis added by me):

Refusing to back away from a major political scandal, President Donald Trump undermined Speaker Nancy Pelosi while lobbing new allegations of corruption at one of Democratic 2020 frontrunner Joe Biden’s sons.

But it was what he wrote later in the piece after quoting Trump saying Pelosi was “no longer the speaker” that had heads crashing to desks:

“As far as I’m concerned, she’s no longer the speaker of the House,” Trump said before dismissing a group of reporters.

Pelosi is, in fact, the speaker. A sitting president cannot dismiss a speaker as easily as the travel pool covering him at a gathering of world leaders.

This is just straight up liberal bias. No question about it. Trump was not literally “dismissing” her as Speaker of the House, and the line about him dismissing “the travel pool” is something you’d expect an unhinged liberal CNN commentator like April Ryan to state rather indignantly, not a supposedly objective news reporter.

Bennett, who lists himself as a senior White House correspondent in his Twitter bio, unquestionably editorialized a number of times in what was supposed to be a straight news piece.

I tagged him in a tweet about it after I discovered what he’d written, but as of this writing he has yet to respond:

For the record, here is the video of Trump’s full remarks about Pelosi:

What Trump was saying there should be obvious to just about everyone, but I’m not considered a Real ReporterWestlake Legal Group 2122 Trump Says He Feels Pelosi Is “No Longer Speaker of the House”, Media Opens up a Can of Dumb in Response white house washington D.C. Social Media Roll Call republicans Politics North Carolina Nancy Pelosi Media journalism Impeachment of President Trump impeachment Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post donald trump democrats Culture Congress Allow Media Exception   in certain circles so maybe I missed something in the translation…

—-
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –

The post Trump Says He Feels Pelosi Is “No Longer Speaker of the House”, Media Opens up a Can of Dumb in Response appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group TrumpZelenskiyAPimage-300x153 Trump Says He Feels Pelosi Is “No Longer Speaker of the House”, Media Opens up a Can of Dumb in Response white house washington D.C. Social Media Roll Call republicans Politics North Carolina Nancy Pelosi Media journalism Impeachment of President Trump impeachment Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post donald trump democrats Culture Congress Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

In Other News, Rashida Tlaib Lost Her Mind In a Congressional Hearing

Westlake Legal Group omar-tlaib1-620x317 In Other News, Rashida Tlaib Lost Her Mind In a Congressional Hearing witness Washington vaping Tobacco Companies rashida tlaib Politics Losing Her Mind hearing Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story dumb democrats Congress Badgering

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., left, joined at right by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., listens to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

While we’ve been inundated with Trump-Ukraine news (or more aptly that news collapsing), there’s still other stuff going on in Washington and vaping is a hot topic.

One of those things was a Congressional hearing on vaping. As I wrote a few weeks ago, banning flavored vaping products (the majority of the market) is short-sighted nonsense. It will only push more people and kids toward cigarettes, which are far more dangerous. Further, the deaths related to vaping we’ve seen are a result of a trend of mixing illegal materials with it, such as THC. If I throw a flaming rag into my car and lock myself in it, I can’t then blame the car when I die.

But vaping companies have apparently not greased enough palms in Washington so they find themselves the targets of a movement ironically working to the benefit of the the tobacco industry, in which over half a million people a year die from related diseases.

Enter Rashida Tlaib, who was part of a hearing on the matter. If you guessed she’d be against vaping and in favor of overburdensome government control, congrats.

But things got much weirder than just her policy positions.

“Ms. Porter, I was reading because I want to know more about you and your beliefs, and I respect that we all have different beliefs, but you call yourself a converted conservative and reformed Marxist? Are you a conspiracy theorist?” Tlaib asked.

Tlaib then accused Porter of being involved in a “conspiracy” because she winked at one of the Republican members of the subcommittee.

“Okay, why were you winking at one of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle? You winked,” Tlaib questioned.

“Because I know [Wisconsin Republican Rep.] Glenn Grothman,” Porter said. “He introduced me. He’s a friend of mine.”

Tlaib responded, “Oh, I understand. I didn’t know what the winking was. I thought maybe there was like a conspiracy thing going on. I didn’t know.”

Porter, seemingly bemused by the interaction, shot back, “You think there’s a conspiracy in this hearing, ma’am?”

Tlaib became angry with Porter’s response, then accused the witness of lying about quitting smoking with the use of vapes, declaring, “you’re still smoking!”

“I’m not smoking and I’m not lying under oath,” Porter replied incredulously.

What in the actual…

You’d be forgiven for thinking Tlaib was inebriated during this hearing. Her irrational ranting and thinking there was some grave conspiracy going on because the witness winked at a friend. It’s all just so ridiculous. She didn’t seem to take too well to the witness making light of her idiocy.

How would Tlaib even know if this woman had quit smoking? Is she suggesting vaping hasn’t actually helped millions quit cigarettes? Because that’d be a really stupid thing to suggest.

The entire argument over vaping is ludicrous. The fact is that hundreds of thousands of people die a year from smoking. Taking away a virtually harmless alternative because some teenagers stupidly mixed THC with their vape is the kind of irrational, nanny-state nonsense you’d expect from our bloated, inefficient government.

Tlaib being on the wrong side of this issue isn’t surprising. She’s a nut-case and has no business being anywhere near the levers of power. But hey, I guess this is a nice break from her recent bouts of anti-Semitism. Small victories and all.

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The post In Other News, Rashida Tlaib Lost Her Mind In a Congressional Hearing appeared first on RedState.

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Questions Raised About Intelligence Community Motives After Release of the Office of Legal Counsel Opinion on the Whistleblower Complaint

Westlake Legal Group director-of-national-intelligence-logo-620x229 Questions Raised About Intelligence Community Motives After Release of the Office of Legal Counsel Opinion on the Whistleblower Complaint whistleblower Politics office of legal counsel Michael Atkinson Joseph Maguire intelligence community Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump Director of National Intelligence democrats Allow Media Exception

Public domain image via ODNI Facebook

This morning, the White House released the transcript of President Trump’s call with Ukraine President Zelensky. If you were expecting this to be a dud, you were wrong. It didn’t even rise to the level of a dud (read my post). Now a second document has been released. This deals with the reason that the acting DNI and the Attorney General have ruled that the so-called “whistleblower” complaint would not be released to the House or Senate Intelligence Committee. By way of background, I’m going to rely on a post on The Bulwark. Because I don’t give links to hate sites or fake news sites because I don’t want to encourage them, I’ll just say this is by a guy named Philip Rotner and he didn’t appear to have been shooting blood out of his whatever in raging delirium of TDS as he was writing it.

In the current case, an unnamed employee of the intelligence community submitted a whistleblower disclosure to the inspector general, Michael Atkinson, on August 12.

Atkinson determined that the report was both credible and involved a matter of urgent concern. Accordingly, as required by the act, he transmitted it to the acting DNI Joseph Maguire on August 26, just prior to the expiration of the 14-day reporting period.

Up to this point, everything had played out exactly as required by the Whistleblower Act.

But then it went off the rails.

Rather than transmitting the IG report to the congressional intelligence committees, as required by the act, DNI Maguire blew through the mandatory 7-day reporting period without so much as a peep. He not only failed to tell Congress what the whistleblower had reported, but he failed even to inform Congress of the existence of such a report until September 9, a week after the expiration of the 7-day reporting period.

The DNI now claims that he has refused to transmit the whistleblower report to Congress because it concerns “conduct by someone outside the Intelligence Community and because the complaint involves confidential and potentially privileged communications.”

But the DNI doesn’t say who made this determination. Did he reach that decision on his own, even though the statute gives the responsibility for making that decision to the IG, not the DNI? Or is he refusing to comply with the statute because the attorney general has advised him to do so? (If you go by the letter of the law, the attorney general has no role in this statutory scheme.) Or is there another party who is involved in making this extra-statutory decision?

If you go by the letter of the law, the only possible legal justification for the DNI’s failure to comply with the act, would be that the president himself had ordered his action. Remember: Neither the DNI nor the attorney general has any discretion under the act, which says that the DNI “shall” transmit the report to Congress. No exceptions. No discretion. And the Attorney General has no statutory role at all.

As it happens, the president does not have any discretion under the text of the act, either. But there’s a longstanding argument that a president has such a degree of constitutional authority over the executive branch that he can overrule decisions made by anybody within that branch.

This argument is not a matter of settled law so much as a theory about the extent of executive power. It has never been either fully accepted, or refuted, by the courts.

So if it was indeed President Trump who ordered the DNI to violate the act by not giving Congress the IG report, then a resolution of this conflict will eventually boil down to yet another clash over separation of powers between the president and Congress. And while the courts could theoretically resolve that dispute, getting a decision out of the Supreme Court could take months. Or years. And as if this whole mess weren’t already complicated enough, there is a highly ambiguous provision in the act that could be read (or misread, depending on your view) to immunize the whole affair from judicial scrutiny.

Along the way, we’ve also been told that the complaint covers several issues and not merely the telephone call.

The whistleblower complaint reportedly involving a discussion between President Trump and a foreign leader was based on more than one incident, said a Democratic lawmaker who attended the House Intelligence Committee’s closed-door meeting Thursday with the intelligence community’s inspector general.

Lawmakers said the inspector general, Michael Atkinson, declined to share incidents during the meeting.

“He didn’t talk about anything about the allegations, where he was very protective,” said Intelligence Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.). “But he did mention that this complaint was based on a series of events, ‘more than one’ to get the exact wordage right.”

Now the mystery is largely solved. The Office of Legal Counsel opinion on why the complaint has not been turned over to Congress has been released and the reason is pretty simple. It simply isn’t what the IC IG made it out to be.

On August 26, 2019, the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (“ICIG”) forwarded to the Acting Director of National Intelligence (“DNI”) a complaint from an employee within the intelligence community.* The complainant alleged that unnamed “White House officials” had expressed concern about the content of a telephone call between the President and a foreign leader. According to the ICIG, statements made by the President during the call could be viewed as soliciting a foreign campaign contribution in violation of the campaign-finance laws. In the ICIG’s view, the complaint addresses an “urgent concern” for purposes of triggering statutory procedures that require expedited reporting of agency misconduct to the congressional intelligence committees. Under the applicable statute, if the ICIG transmits such a complaint to the DNI, the DNI has seven days to forward it to the intelligence committees. See 50 U.S.C. § 3033(k)(5)(C).

The complaint does not arise in connection with the operation of any U.S. government intelligence activity, and the alleged misconduct does not involve any member of the intelligence community. Rather, the complaint arises out of a confidential diplomatic communication between the President and a foreign leader that the intelligence-community complainant received secondhand. The question is whether such a complaint falls within the statutory definition of “urgent concern” that the law requires the DNI to forward to the intelligence committees. We conclude that it does not. The alleged misconduct is not an “urgent concern” within the meaning of the statute because it does not concern “the funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity” under the authority of the DNI. Id. § 3033(k)(5)(G)(i). That phrase includes matters relating to intelligence activities subject to the DNI’s supervision, but it does not include allegations of wrongdoing arising outside of any intelligence activity or outside the intelligence community itself.

Our conclusion that the “urgent concern” requirement is inapplicable does not mean that the DNI or the ICIG must leave such allegations unaddressed. To the contrary, the ICIG statute, 50 U.S.C. § 3033(k)(6), makes clear that the ICIG remains subject to 28 U.S.C. § 535, which broadly requires reporting to the Attorney General of “[a]ny information, allegation, matter, or complaint witnessed, discovered, or received in a department or agency . . . relating to violations of Federal criminal law involving Government officers and employees.” 28 U.S.C. § 535(b). Accordingly, should the DNI or the ICIG receive a credible complaint of alleged criminal conduct that does not involve an “urgent concern,” the appropriate action is to refer the matter to the Department of Justice, rather than to report to the intelligence committees under section 3033(k)(5). Consistent with 28 U.S.C. § 535, the ICIG’s letter and the attached complaint have been referred to the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice for appropriate review.

In essence this is what you have. Some Resistance goober hears from someone who may have heard from someone that President Trump said something on the phone call to President Zelensky that the goober doesn’t like. Xe goes to the IG and says that xe intends to report this to the “intelligence committees.” By that we can assume that xe meant the House Intelligence Committee. The problem comes in as the IC IG decided that this was possibly a campaign finance violation…don’t know how he arrived at that conclusion other than just being overly cautious…but that kind of misconduct is not covered by the whistleblower statute.

Read the whole memo for yourself.

The underlying question here, of course, is why the IC IG made a huge stink about trying to report this and then bitched about the OLC decision saying that it did not trigger the reporting statute. I think we all have a fairly solid grasp of what is the likely answer here, don’t we?

The OLC memo notes

Although the ICIG’s preliminary review found “some indicia of an arguable political bias on the part of the Complainant in favor of a rival political candidate,” the ICIG concluded that the complaint’s allegations nonetheless appeared credible.

But the critical question is why the IG violated his own governing statute in order to make this secondhand complaint an “urgent concern” when, clearly, it is bullsh** on toast? There are two possible explanations. Neither of them are particularly good. The most favorable one is that the IG is simply gutless and rather than risk being criticized by some rando in Congress he decided to create a political incident in an election year. As I said, that is the most favorable. The least favorable is that despite the information being secondhand and not being covered by his own governing statute, the IG made the decision to carry out a political hit on the administration.

Now we know several things for a fact. First, the whistleblower had no first hand knowledge of the incident and probably should never have been considered a whistleblower to begin with. Second, the intelligence community has no sense of compartmentalization. There is no set of facts in which this conversation should have been the subject of gossip. Third, the intelligence community appears to be highly politicized and operates as an adjunct of the DNC. This his hardly shocking considering the presence of Clapper and Brennan. Fourth, the IC IG is either part of this information operation or he’s a gutless douchenozzle, either way he should be fired. Fifth, this, like the rest of this story, is a monumental nothingburger.

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The post Questions Raised About Intelligence Community Motives After Release of the Office of Legal Counsel Opinion on the Whistleblower Complaint appeared first on RedState.

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DOJ’s Criminal Division Clears Trump of Wrongdoing Related to Zelensky Call and has ‘Concluded the Matter’

Westlake Legal Group pelosi-tide-pods DOJ’s Criminal Division Clears Trump of Wrongdoing Related to Zelensky Call and has ‘Concluded the Matter’ volodymyr zelensky President Trump Politics Nancy Pelosi Kimberley Strassel Joe Biden Impeachment of President Trump hunter biden Front Page Stories Featured Story democrats Congress Allow Media Exception adam schiff Abuse of Power 2020

 

Kerri Kupec, a spokesperson for the DOJ announced on Wednesday morning that, following a review by the DOJ criminal division, it was
determined that President Trump did not violate any campaign finance laws and has “concluded the matter.” This decision has Trump critics up in arms. I can see how it might complicate things for House Democrats who probably should have waited to see the transcript before announcing their plans to impeach the President.

After the transcript of President Trump’s July 25th phone conversation with Ukraine’s new President Volodyrmr Zelensky was released, the Dow Jones Industrial averaged jumped 150 points.

Although Trump has been cleared of wrongdoing, the release of the transcript sets an ominous precedent. No president should have to worry about his private comments to world leaders being made public. World leaders will hesitate to share honestly with a U.S. president in the future if they think there’s a chance they will be broadcast. But, for Democrats, nothing matters more than taking down Trump.

The full transcript can be viewed here.

Trump and Zelensky appeared to get along famously. It was a very friendly phone call. At one point during the call, Trump did ask Zelensky to look into the Biden affair. He does so once, not eight times as it was initially reported. Here is what President Trump said:

Good, because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news, and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news, so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.

Burisma’s leaders weren’t hiring Hunter Biden because they thought he was experienced or capable. He was neither. He was hired because he was the son of the Vice President of the United States and company leadership believed that his connections would be helpful, even profitable for them.

Trump also asks Zelensky to look into what sounds like a reference to the DNC server. This is unclear. Trump may have heard a report or a rumor that the server is located in the Ukraine. This might be information that AG William Barr or prosecutor John Durham are looking for in their investigations of the origins of the Russia probe.

The President: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike…I guess you have one of your wealthy people…The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation…I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you said yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.

Neither of these comments, by any stretch of the imagination, could constitute a basis for impeachment.

But that’s not stopping Democrats from trying. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said the transcript “confirms” the need for an impeachment inquiry for a President who “has tried to make lawlessness a virtue in America and now is exporting it abroad.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) had an equally ludicrous response. He said, “This is a classic Mafia-like shakedown of a foreign leader.”

And CNN’s headline says “Transcript shows Trump pushed Ukraine to investigate Biden.”

Fortunately, The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel injects some sanity into the coverage. Via twitter, she writes:

Having read DOJ’s Trump-Ukraine release, here’s the real story: This is another internal attempt to take out a president, on the basis of another non-smoking-gun.

As to call transcript itself: Trump’s actual “favor” is that Ukraine look backward, to what happened in the 2016 election. This is a legitimate ask, since election meddling looks to have come from both Russia and Ukraine.

(Indeed, this is a big enough issue that we find out this morning that U.S. Attorney John Durham is looking at what role the Ukraine played in the FBI investigation.)

It is actually Zelensky who brings up Rudy Giuliani—saying they can’t wait to “meet him.” And it is Zelensky who references “that investigation,” as he goes on to promise that “all investigations will be done openly and candidly.”

Trump says “good” and expresses worries that a “good” prosecutor was “shut down.” Mentions “Biden’s son” and that Biden bragged he “stopped the prosecution.” Ends that bit with “It sounds horrible to me.”

Trump’s several references to Giuliani are mostly to say what a great guy he is. He says he will have Giuliani and AG Barr call. He asks Zelensky to speak/work with both.

And, never mind, because: DOJ in statement says the President has not spoken to AG about investigating Biden and has not asked the AG to contact the Ukraine. Also, Barr has not communicated with Ukraine—“on this or any subject.”

Meanwhile, the IG back in August referred this to DOJ as potential violation of campaign finance law, based on whistleblower complaint. Criminal Division evaluated and determined no violation: “All relevant components of the Department agreed with this legal conclusion.”

Whistleblower? Look at this nugget, referenced in the OLC opinion. The IG’s review found “some indicia of an arguable political bias on the part of the Complainant in favor of a rival political candidate.”

Media got all this so wrong. And Democrats look all the more partisan and radical to have moved toward impeachment.

Looks like all is well between President Trump and President Zelensky.

The post DOJ’s Criminal Division Clears Trump of Wrongdoing Related to Zelensky Call and has ‘Concluded the Matter’ appeared first on RedState.

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The Key to Solving the Opioid Epidemic is Border Security

Westlake Legal Group customs-and-border-protection-4-620x413 The Key to Solving the Opioid Epidemic is Border Security Uncategorized opiods mike curran Illinois Front Page Stories fentanyl

Public Domain via USCBP Flickr Photostream U.S. Border Patrol agents arrest illegal aliens attempting to enter the United States after crossing the Rio Grande River in McAllen, Texas on November 15, 2018. Photo by Ozzy Trevino

 

For years the opioid epidemic has devastated communities across the country. As Sheriff of a suburban Chicago county for 12 years, I saw the rise of the epidemic firsthand. Working hand-in-hand with other law enforcement agencies, we had more success fighting the epidemic in Lake County, Illinois, than most communities across the country, but we were limited in our success because the federal government has yet to solve the problem that is now driving the epidemic: the flow of synthetic opioids like fentanyl into the country across the border.

The opioid epidemic is not a new crisis. As a sheriff for 12 years, interim coroner for two years, and a prosecutor for 16 years, I have been on the frontlines fighting the opioid epidemic for years. In Lake County, we started innovative, cross-jurisdictional task forces and programs to combat the problem. One of our programs has even won national awards for its success in fast-tracking individuals with substance use disorders to treatment programs and services.

In most of the country, the opioid problem is only getting worse. Drug overdoses killed a record 72,300 Americans in 2017, a rise of 10 percent since 2016, which is more than the yearly death tolls from H.I.V., car crashes and gun deaths combined. For this reason, President Trump declared the nation’s opioid epidemic a national health emergency in October 2017.

The growth of synthetic opioids like fentanyl can be blamed for the recent increase in overdose deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids rose by 520 percent between 2013 and 2016. At the same time, overdoses from legitimate prescription drugs leveled off for the first time in history. Federal and state government laws – and new innovative programs like ours in Lake County – should be credited for the success in reducing prescription drug and heroin overdoses, but we have yet to seriously curtail overdoses from synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

Just a few months ago, Customs and Border Protection officers made the country’s largest fentanyl bust in history. Two hundred and fifty-four pounds of the drug was stopped at the border in a tractor-trailer loaded with cucumbers. In fact, as of mid-July 2019, border agents had seized more than 2,000 pounds of fentanyl, more than enough to poison the entire U.S. population. Perhaps even worse, law enforcement officials are seizing record-setting amounts of the deadly drug thousands of miles from the border as well. In April 2018, Nebraska state troopers seized 118 pounds of fentanyl in a routine traffic stop.

Fentanyl flows into the country via Mexican drug cartels and Chinese drug smugglers and is trafficked all over the U.S. China is currently our nation’s largest source of illicit fentanyl, but the problem of drug smuggling across the border has only increased in recent years as the federal government has attempted to crack down on China. Fentanyl seizures more than doubled last year, yet officials at the border say more of the drug is still getting through and ending up in our communities.

The solution to the opioid epidemic starts with increased border security. Federal, state, and local government programs have made an impact in stemming the tide of the crisis, but to truly curtail the problem, federal policymakers must focus on tightening border security and giving border agents the training, tools, and resources to stop fentanyl before it flows to the rest of the country. Communities across the U.S. have been battling the opioid addiction crisis for years, but we will only be truly successful if the problem at the border is fixed by the federal government.


Mark Curran was the sheriff of Lake County, Illinois in suburban Chicago from 2006 to 2018. He is now a candidate for U.S. Senate running against Sen. Dick Durbin.

The post The Key to Solving the Opioid Epidemic is Border Security appeared first on RedState.

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Lindsey Graham Says What We’re All Thinking as Democrats Go Forward With Impeachment

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Lindsey Graham by Gage Skidmore, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

The scandal surrounding President Donald Trump and Ukraine seems to be a Rorschach test, with the left proclaiming that it’s damning to Trump and the right shrugging it off as a ten-pound nothing-burger. The truth leans more toward the right. It’s not the best look for Trump, but it’s not exactly anything to get excited about.

As my colleague, Streiff, reported earlier today, there’s not too much there for the left to get excited about, and in fact, they themselves should probably be a little more cautious, given the fact that Biden was caught bragging about getting Ukraine to halt the prosecution of his son Hunter, who sat on the board of a company that Ukraine was currently probing for corruption.

It’s definitely not something worthy of impeaching Trump over, but with 2020 growing closer and the Democrats’ desperation getting heavier, they’ll reach for anything they can to ruin his Presidential chances. It says more about their confidence in their own candidates, but I digress.

Senator Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was interviewed by reporters about the impeachment proceedings over the Ukraine information, and he didn’t hold back.

“From my point of view, to impeach any president over a phone call like this would be insane,” Graham said.

“From quid pro quo aspect, there’s nothing there,” he added.

He also made it clear that if the shoe was on the other partisan foot, the tone would be much different.

All things considered, “insane” is the proper term to use here. In terms of things to try to hit Trump over, this is a very hollow one that may, in the end, damage the Democrats.

As it stands, the American people aren’t even on board with Trump’s impeachment proceedings. A new Quinnipiac Poll found that 57 percent of Americans think Trump should not be impeached, vs 37 percent who think he should. This low number in terms of approval by the people for impeachment isn’t new. The American people have been against it for some time.

 

The post Lindsey Graham Says What We’re All Thinking as Democrats Go Forward With Impeachment appeared first on RedState.

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Kira Davis: Cancel Culture Is Vile And The Des Moines Register Should Be Ashamed Of Themselves [Video]

(navigate to the bottom of this article for Kira’s full video comments)

Cancel Culture is a vile social sickness that has been brought to us by the extremist Left and the mainstream media and it has to stop.

The disgusting phenomenon proved once again that no good deed goes unpunished when The Des Moines Register published a piece about a clever young man who got the attention of a beer company with a sign asking for beer money at a football game. Not only did 24-year-old Carson King donate the few hundred dollars he raised to a children’s hospital, but his ensuing partnership with Anheuser-Busch went on to raise a million dollars for that hospital.

But Carson made the mistake of being a regular teenager in 2012 and posting some “inappropriate” jokes. Aaron Calvin’s “routine background investigation” dug up the nearly decade old tweet and published it as newsworthy. Anheuser-Busch caught win and immediately severed ties.

I couldn’t keep my mouth shut about this one. I don’t do many commentary videos anymore but this one got under my skin. So here’s my takedown of The Des Moines Register, their grossly unprofessional staff and cancel culture in general. I analyze the press release put out by Ms. Hunter and point out just how absurd these people are.

It seems all the adults have left the building at The Des Moines Register.

Thankfully not everyone is as vile as the powers that be at the DM.

The post Kira Davis: Cancel Culture Is Vile And The Des Moines Register Should Be Ashamed Of Themselves [Video] appeared first on RedState.

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Kira Davis: Cancel Culture Is Vile And The Des Moines Register Should Be Ashamed Of Themselves [Video]

(navigate to the bottom of this article for Kira’s full video comments)

Cancel Culture is a vile social sickness that has been brought to us by the extremist Left and the mainstream media and it has to stop.

The disgusting phenomenon proved once again that no good deed goes unpunished when The Des Moines Register published a piece about a clever young man who got the attention of a beer company with a sign asking for beer money at a football game. Not only did 24-year-old Carson King donate the few hundred dollars he raised to a children’s hospital, but his ensuing partnership with Anheuser-Busch went on to raise a million dollars for that hospital.

But Carson made the mistake of being a regular teenager in 2012 and posting some “inappropriate” jokes. Aaron Calvin’s “routine background investigation” dug up the nearly decade old tweet and published it as newsworthy. Anheuser-Busch caught win and immediately severed ties.

I couldn’t keep my mouth shut about this one. I don’t do many commentary videos anymore but this one got under my skin. So here’s my takedown of The Des Moines Register, their grossly unprofessional staff and cancel culture in general. I analyze the press release put out by Ms. Hunter and point out just how absurd these people are.

It seems all the adults have left the building at The Des Moines Register.

Thankfully not everyone is as vile as the powers that be at the DM.

The post Kira Davis: Cancel Culture Is Vile And The Des Moines Register Should Be Ashamed Of Themselves [Video] appeared first on RedState.

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Des Moines Register Reporter Who Took Down Charitable Man Over Old Tweets Has Nasty Tweets Himself

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CREDIT: Brandon Morse, copyright RedState.com

The story of Iowa’s Carson King should have been a happy one. As I outlined in a previous story, King took the opportunity to raise over $1 million in charity for a children’s hospital after a sign of his asking for beer money went viral. Anheuser-Busch even said they’d match the amount King raised and include it in the donations.

The Des Moines Register was set to do a feel-good story on King’s charity efforts, but the reporter assigned to the task, Aaron Calvin, delved into King’s social media background for no discernible reason and found some tweets King had sent in 2011 when he was 16 where he quoted Daniel Tosh during his show “Tosh.0.”

The Register’s editors decided it would include the tweets for, again, reasons that I can’t fathom, but King got out ahead of them and released the info on his own terms with a public statement. King was forced to issue an apology and Anheuser-Busch, though promising it would still deliver on the charity, publicly cut all ties with King.

Now, what should have been a highlight of a man’s life, and a story about giving and goodness, has become about some bad tweets sent nearly a decade ago, and all of it thanks to a media that is more focused on controversy than uplifting stories.

But hang on a minute.

While the Des Moines Register was busy making the world a better place by exposing the past tweets of good people in order to ruin them, it turns out that the reporter who went through his tweets has a history of saying nasty things as well.

As it turns out, Calvin seems to want to teach children how to do drugs and be prostitutes, and read porn scripts to high schoolers.

He also apparently hates police and released a tweet saying “f**k all cops” and has repeatedly dropped the “n-word.”

Calvin has now protected his tweets, possibly in order to see to it that nothing else is discovered.

What’s more, the Des Moines Register has now acknowledged that these old tweets of Calvin’s are out in the ether and they say they are now “investigating.”

Before this investigation concludes and Calvin’s fate is decided, I want to make something very clear.

I hope that Calvin doesn’t get fired for his old tweets, and while this may sound like I’m giving someone a pass, I’m of this position because I don’t think that even one more person should have to suffer anything because of some stupid things they said on social media a long time ago.

What I believe should happen is the Register should definitely acknowledge that their own reporter had some seriously horrible tweets of his own in the past just for transparency’s sake. However, on top of that, I believe that they should apologize for the way they handled King’s old tweets, and make it clear that making the decision to expose them was a mistake.

I want them to make that statement because I want that example to flourish throughout all of the mainstream media. Yes, Calvin’s tweets were bad, but they’re also nearly a decade old and, outside of exposing the hypocrisy of the beam in his eye while he reported on the splinter in another’s, they should mean next to nothing.

This “cancel culture” we have has, and is going to, destroy the lives of too many innocent people. We need to end it.

The post Des Moines Register Reporter Who Took Down Charitable Man Over Old Tweets Has Nasty Tweets Himself appeared first on RedState.

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Dan Crenshaw: The Release of Trump/Zelensky Call Transcript Is Bad News … for Joe Biden

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As I wrote earlier today, the newly-released transcript of the July phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ultimately turned out to be a nothingburger in spite of Democratic protestations to the contrary.

It largely corroborated Trump’s account, as Amber Athey notes:

While commentators will be arguing endlessly in the coming days and weeks as to whether or not Trump’s call rises to the level where impeachment would be imperative (it doesn’t), I think an indisputable conclusion after reading the transcript is that over the long term what Trump talked about with Zelensky will end up hurting Joe Biden more than it does Trump.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) is one high profile Republican Congressman who echoed this point on the Twitter machine in the aftermath of the Big Reveal:

That’s the short version of why the transcript is bad news for Biden.

Erielle Davidson at The Federalist wrote a more detailed explainer this morning on how a renewed focus on Biden’s admitted role in the firing of the Ukrainian prosecutor could ultimately backfire on both the Democratic presidential frontrunner and his party:

Despite the left’s attempts to focus the hysteria on the allegations, there is plenty amiss about Joe Biden’s involvement in Ukraine, events that are genuinely worthy of investigation. While serving as vice president, Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire its prosecutor general, who was then investigating the natural gas company paying Biden’s son as much as $55,000 per month to sit on its board. Biden can be seen here bragging about his role in having the prosecutor removed.

In an era in which the left perpetually accuses Trump of corruption and nepotism, it would be an uncomfortable endeavor for the left to explain how Biden’s desire to fire Ukraine’s top prosecutor had nothing to do with the fact that the prosecutor was investigating his son’s company.
[…]
Biden has been polling as the candidate most able to beat Trump in the general election. Thus, as Democrats push for impeachment proceedings against Trump on the basis of the Ukraine phone call, what they are really advocating for is a full-blown investigation of arguably their most electable candidate.

The Democrats oversold Russiagate bigly and as a result, the American people do not have an appetite for impeachment. It’s not hard to see how the left’s latest feverish push for ousting Trump from office in response to his phone call with the Ukrainian president may also fail in a similar fashion, except this time the effort has the potential to take down the likely Democratic presidential nominee with it.

That would be off-the-charts ironic. I’m stocking up on the popcorn.

—-
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –

The post Dan Crenshaw: The Release of Trump/Zelensky Call Transcript Is Bad News … for Joe Biden appeared first on RedState.

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